News of former President Donald Trump’s arrest and arraignment led to the headline and speculation of an American “civil war” trending on Chinese social media.
Weibo, the top social media platform in China, featured Trump’s arrest on its front page news earlier this month, according to Breitbart. The social media company, which is controlled by the nation’s communist government, appeared to approve of the Trump-arrest headline and speculation over America’s potential decline.
The Washington Post also documented that a hashtag about “Trump’s 136-year prison term” quickly reached over 400 million views. The wording was based on the assumption that Trump could face the maximum sentence of his combined 34 charges in the case with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The court documents, unsealed on April 4, alleged that the former president was involved in a scheme to increase his odds of winning the 2016 presidential election through hush money payments covered up through New York business records.
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“The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” said Bragg in the announcement.
“Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct. As the Statement of Facts describes, the trail of money and lies exposes a pattern that, the People allege, violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws. As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law,” he added.
The payment of $130,000 was made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 allegedly in connection with an affair with Trump. Daniels signed a non-disclosure agreement at the time.
The check was sent to Daniels by Eli Cohen, a former Trump lawyer, who has since been imprisoned on other charges. Trump has denied all charges against him, pleading not guilty on all counts.
In addition to the payment to Daniels, the unsealed charges note additional payments. One alleged payment included $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child Trump had outside of marriage. In another charge, American Media Inc. reportedly paid $150,000 to a second woman who allegedly had a sexual relationship with the former president.